Predicting Protected Lists: Ottawa Senators
Between Bobby Ryan and Dion Phaneuf, the Ottawa Senators have a lot of important choices to make before the expansion draft. Currently they are at risk of losing a top-four defender, but that could change depending on how the next couple of weeks shake out.
Up front, the Senators have four players that they will definitely be protecting. They are Kyle Turris, Mark Stone, Mike Hoffman, and Derrick Brassard.
After a strong playoff performance, Jean-Gabriel Pageau also seems like a safe bet to be protected.
Clarke MacArthur should get a spot as well. After being sidelined for almost two full seasons with concussions, MacArthur came back for the playoffs and impressed. He does not meet the exposure requirements regardless.
The last spot comes down to two players, Bobby Ryan and Zack Smith.
Ryan carries a large cap hit at $7.25 million for the next five seasons. After a very disappointing regular season, it seemed like Ryan would be left exposed to Vegas. However, after a strong playoff performance, Ryan could be back on the protection list.
As for Smith, he has four years left on his deal at $3.25 million per. Smith is a versatile forward who can play multiple positions and can play in all situations as well. Just a year ago, he scored 25 goals.
It is still unclear who the Senators will pick to protect with their last spot. Either way it goes, Ryan or Smith, it would not be surprising.
As for defense, Erik Karlsson is obviously going to be protected.
The Senators will also not want to lose any of Dion Phaneuf, Marc Methot, or Cody Ceci, but one of them will need to be exposed. If I had to guess, I would say it will be Ceci.
The Ottawa Senators protection list could look like the following:
Forwards: Mike Hoffman, Kyle Turris, Mark Stone, Derrick Brassard, Clarke MacArthur, Jean-Gabriel Pageau, and Bobby Ryan OR Zack Smith
Defense: Erik Karlsson, Marc Methot, Dion Phaneuf
Goalie: Craig Anderson
Prime candidates that could be going to Vegas are Cody Ceci (or whoever is exposed of Ceci, Phaneuf, and Methot) and Ryan Dzingel.
Next team: Philadelphia Flyers